Elizabeth M. Armstrong

Head of Butler College
Office Phone

Welcome, Butlerites!  Whether you’re a “new-bee” or returning, I’m delighted to welcome all of you to Butler College!  I’m excited to begin my third year as Head of Butler College and I’m looking forward to getting to know all the Butler students. I cannot wait to join forces with all of you to sustain and deepen the vibrant Butler community. 

I grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, the oldest of five children.  I studied English at Yale and I still count literature among my passions.  My first job after college was working on an organic farm (I slept in the barn with the chickens!).  I then worked for a couple of years in Washington, DC, before earning an MPA from Princeton SPIA, and a Ph.D. in sociology and demography from the University of Pennsylvania.  After two years in Ann Arbor as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholar in Health Policy Research at the University of Michigan, I joined the Princeton faculty in 2000, with a joint appointment in Sociology and SPIA.  I’m also affiliated with the Office of Population Research, the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies, the Center for Health and Wellbeing, and the Program in the History of Science. My research is located at the intersection of medicine, health policy, and culture, with a particular focus on gender.  I teach undergraduate courses on maternal and child health policy in the US, the sociology of medicine, and cultural dimensions of reproduction.  My current research explores the modern evolution of obstetric medicine, and the development of ethical and evidence-based policies around maternity care.  Right now, I’m researching the experience of pregnancy and birth during the pandemic. I’m absolutely passionate about making the world better for mothers and babies. 

When I’m not in my office or the classroom, I love to read, to knit, to cook, and especially to bake. I’m also an ice cream aficionado.  I practice yoga and I run (slowly) on the towpath and the trails around town.  I’m an avid fan of theater, dance and the arts.  I especially love to watch Princeton students perform and I’m often a spectator on campus; I’d love to come to any event you’re involved in, so please invite me!  I love getting to know students, so I hope you will introduce yourself to me, tell me what you’re reading (whether for class or just because), share a favorite recipe, or just let me know where your curiosity has taken you recently.  I’m eager to learn about, from and with you!   

I live in the Butler House with my daughter Lilly, my son Henry, and our rescue dog, Tuxedo.  We’re all looking forward to getting to know you!